whecht's blog

Talking Points Memo readers are fairly far left

A non random poll of their viewers

Sanders 41%
Clinton 32% (including me)
Not Sure 11%
Not a Democrat 10%
Biden 5%
O'Malley 1%

That seems to me to be left of the Democratic party.
I suppose most blogs are either far to the right or far to the left.

Happy Birthday April

I doubt you ever read this blog. But we all love you.

Market predictions

The stock market will go up today and then go down after close of business today.

How do I know this?

I bought some stock as of today's close. Since my record of predictions is not very good then you should be able to do the opposite and make money.

After all, everyone is wrong about the future of financial markets. It is just hard to figure out what "everyone" thinks and even harder to act against your own better judgment

40 years this week

Amazing how quickly 40 years can pass.

I never really paid too much attention to Born to Run but I remember when it came out.

Then in 1978 I went to school with Bruce Springsteen and he stared in the Coe musical, "Company"

Too bad I didn't save a program.

I wonder where Bruce is today. It is impossible to Google him and he never graduated from Coe.

Buy Oil

Oil is now at $40.97

People are predicting it will fall to the low $30's. It seems the overwhelming consensus.

As you know, in money markets, the overwhelming consensus has to be wrong.

My only doubt is my ability to recognize ans overwhelming consensus. Yes, I am hedging. I think, but I am not sure, that the world is pretty sure oil will continue to drop.


BTW, so far I have been wrong. Oil is now down to $40.92.

Governor Walker and the San Diego Chargers

San Diego has put a plan together to bribe the Chargers to stay in San Diego. It seems like it includes at least $350 million in public money; my guess is a lot more than that. (BTW, is the semicolon the right thing to split the previous sentence?)

Anyway, it looks like Walker wants to commit at least $400 million to keep the Bucks in Milwaukee.

It is amazing that a significant majority of the people in this country are happy to have huge subsidies to get major teams to move or stay in the area.

Y'all know better than I do what the impact of the Packers on Green Bay is. Sure they get a lot of people for 8 weekends a year, more in playoff years, but is it worth it? Of course, Green Bay is different because it is hard to say to the City that the Packers are ready to move to LA if they don't get an extra $400 million from the state, city and county.

I can't imagine too many people really think that they would rather go to Cleveland than LA because they can see the Browns stadium. Of course, some people will fly to the city to go to a game but the people who go to the game are capped at 80,000 a week and most of them live in Cleveland anyway.

Houston 100+

It is a pity I still don't live in Houston.

High temp from Thursday through the following Friday are all over 100. For a while, the high was forecast to be 104 for 7 days in a row.


Less Respect for Michael Bloomberg

I was listening to some discussion about the purchase of the FT.

One person said that Bloomberg makes it very clear that the point of Bloomberg News is to sell Bloomberg terminals.

I have no trouble with that EXCEPT

Bloomberg doesn't want nasty stories about China which would interfere with him making money in China.

So he is willing to sell the integrity of a major worldwide news organization for sales in China.


I am getting stupider

I just took my second Wonderlic test and I didn't do very well.

I took one back in September and got a 44 which put me in the 99th percentile

Today I took the test and only got a 34 which put me in the 95th percentile.

At least that is the way I read this website


I was told that I needed at least a 30. We shall see if I did well enough. All I can do is wait.

Republican Response: Iran

The proper Republican response

Of course, accepting this deal is better than rejecting it.

Obama did a terrible job negotiating this deal and it stinks. Virtually anyone could have negotiated a better deal that Obama did. He is guaranteeing that Iran will get the bomb in 10 to 12 years. He is an idiot and a disgrace.

Unfortunately, he gave away the store to Iran and there is nothing we can do about it. We lost our chance to negotiate when we had China and Russia and India on our side. The sanctions are going to be lifted by the rest of the world and we don’t have the ability to keep the sanctions going anymore.

So the question shouldn’t be: this deal or no deal. The question should have been: a better deal or no deal.

We should be able to keep the sanctions going but Obama let the horse out of the barn and we can’t do anything about it anymore.

Let’s get rid of Obama and the Democrats in the White House. We need a Republican President. Any of the 15 people whose name doesn’t rhyme with trash dump could do a better job that Obama. Let’s hope we can get him out of office before he does anything else so stupid and so dangerous.

This is why I love Kevin Drum

"Anyway, that's what science says. Unfortunately, science also says that presenting facts to people almost never changes their minds. In fact, it can do just the opposite as people respond defensively to the notion that they've been wrong for a long time. So I suppose no one reading this is actually going to switch to _____. Instead they'll cherry-pick studies that support their previous point of view.

It doesn't really matter what the topic is. "science also says that presenting facts to people almost never changes their minds."

Of course some people will say that this just proves that people are logical and you can throw out all the logic in the world...

except the logic that agrees with your own point of view.

We are all guilty if it

Everybody plays the fool sometime
There's no exception to the rule
Listen, baby, it may be factual, may be cruel
I ain't lying, everybody plays the fool

Vox is WRONG


Matthew Yglesias doesn't understand banking and doesn't understand risk.

He is saying that it is wrong for Trump to have $5 million in a single bank because FDIC insurance only goes up to $250,000.

Every bank in the country has deposits over the FDIC limit. Virtually every large company in the country has deposits in a single bank over the FDIC limit. It is absurd to think that someone is going to have scores of bank accounts to keep their money insured.

Of course, FDIC insurance doesn't really mean very much. You can have all the money you want in virtually any bank and the FDIC will work very hard to find a buyer for 100% of the deposits. There are a few, and I really mean a few, small banks in areas where nobody wants the deposits that fail and the FDIC pays off the insured deposits. I can't remember the last time one of the 2,000 largest banks failed and all deposits weren't paid in full. If I had to guess it would have been in the 74 recession. There is a reasonable chance it hasn't happened in 40 years.

I'm sure this doesn't mean anything

Looking at the weather in New York (which really sucks right now)

January 15 is the coldest day of the year, on average
July 20 is the hottest day of the year, on average

It is a pity the hottest and coldest weren't just one day different.

Another broken clock

I paid $2 to get a print subscription to National Review. Unfortunately, it doesn't give me access to the online magazine

Anyway Allen C Guelzo wrote an article "Take It Down"

His final two paragraphs state:
"So, here is my proposal. The Confederate flag was and is a symbol of many things, and in racial matters, a symbol of profound offense. But its most undeniable and constant meaning is rebellion. It is the emblem of treason, not only in 1861 but at any time someone defends the legitimacy of secession. Therefore, let every American who thinks treason is a crime take down the Confederate flag, and ask others to do likewise. And when (or if) we are refused, let us turn our backs on it, and dishonor it.

"That is the response of the free citizen."

Am I missing something? Poll results UPDATED 12:35 7/15/15

I don’t understand

The headline says: Donald Trump Is Tied With Jeb Bush for Lead in National Poll

So based on the headline, I would assume that some poll has Trump tied with Bush. I think that is a fair reading. Do you agree?
The third paragraph states: “Mr. Trump has the support of 17 percent of Republican or independent voters who say they plan to participate in the party’s primary elections or caucuses, while Mr. Bush has 14 percent; the difference is within the survey’s margin of error.”

Now, I think that Trump is 3% in front of Bush. I understand margin of error. If you are saying that 95% of the time the result is within 3% then you get tighter results than if the margin of error is 5%.

I ran some quick numbers and I calculated Trump has about a 93% chance of being ahead and about a 5% chance of being tied. My numbers can be off by a lot but no matter how you slice and dice things, Trump has a better than 50% chance, a lot better than 50%, of being in front and a very small chance of being tied.

NY Times investment advice


best investment advice I have read in a long time

Andrew is probably the only person alive who understands this UPDATED 7/15/15

My direct line is 533-9512
Bob, my controller, has a phone number of 533-9429

I was wrong. Andrew is one of the three people alive who understand it.

the proper way to answer the Trump nomination question

Will you support Donald Trump if he wins the Republican nomination?

Asked to various Republican candidates.

Of course, Obviously, he would have to change a lot of his views to win the nomination. At this point, with what he has been saying, he doesn't have a chance of winning the nomination. If he changed his views to be in line with the majority of the party and won the nomination then I would support him.

I'd laugh if I weren't crying

I find it shocking that I am not able to get a mortgage even though I have sufficient income and I have a sufficient down payment.

For example, if I make $100,000 a year and I pay 30% of my income in alimony to my ex-wife, it is NOT $30,000 a year, it is 30% of my income. So, in effect, I only make $70,000 a year. I live like a person who makes $70,000 a year. My AGI on my tax return in $70,000 a year.

Foolishly, I thought that I could apply for a mortgage like a person who made $70,000. I honestly can’t figure out any difference between my income of $70,000 a year and someone else’s income of $70,000 a year. If I get a 10% bonus then I get AGI of $77,000. If the other person gets a 10% bonus then they get AGI of $77,000.

We could rent the same apartment, go on the same vacations, and eat at the same places.

The big difference is that for mortgage calculations, I can have debt to income of 13% (43% less 30%) of $100,000 or only $13,000 a year while the other person can have debt to income of 43% of $70,000 or $30,100 a year. Obviously, the other person can get a far bigger mortgage than I can.

Civil War links

The Nazis were wrong
The South was Wrong

White Man's Flag


Just a thought: What other countries have monuments and holidays for traitors?
Do we have any statues for Benedict Arnold? He played a huge part in us WINNING the Revolutionary War.

Early Returns for the 2016 race

I am not 100% confident, but close to 99.99% confident that the Democrats are ahead 236 to 205 in the Electoral College. I called Indiana for the Republicans to bring them up from 194 to 2015.

Interestingly, I haven't called Omaha or northern Maine yet (1 vote each)
Nor the following states
Florida 29
Iowa 6
Ohio 18
Colorado 9
New Hampshire 4
Virginia 13
Wisconsin 10
Nevada 6

I haven't lived in a swing state since 1980 so my vote won't count again in 2016 unless I move.

Does anyone disagree with my calling 46 of the 56 "states"?

Another example: You can't be a Christian and a Republican at the same time


I know these are fightin words but it seems true more and more these days.

Huckabee said a few years ago, 2008 I think, that the children of illegal immigrants are God's children too. He was forced to back down and take away benefits from those poor people.


Facing heat for his positions on illegal immigration, Rick Perry walked back last week’s statement at a Republican presidential debate that people who oppose in-state tuition for illegal immigrants have “no heart.”

I know these are just three examples. I know you can find Democrats acting like jerks too.

Of course, the Republican Party is now disagreeing with the Pope.

Which woman deserves to be the $10 bill?

I know this is politically incorrect but we don’t need a woman on a $10 bill.
No woman in US history deserves to be on the bill. We have way too many men who deserve it and haven’t been on a bill or a coin.

James Madison
John Adams
Harry Truman
John Marshall
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Teddy Roosevelt

von Neumann

OK, here you may have me here
I think Harriet Beecher Stowe would be a good choice but the Republican Party would rebel
Mark Twain
William Faulkner
Edgar Allen Poe

George Eastman
Steve Jobs (not dead long enough)
Thomas Edison
Henry Ford
JP Morgan
Walt Disney

Does Thurgood Marshall or Sandra Day O’Conner deserve it more than John Marshall?

Where are we going to put Ronald Reagan? Half the country thinks he is the GOAT.
How about Babe Ruth or Michael Jordan? They really are the GOAT.

Clarence Thomas and Four Liberals


This seems like a very unusual group to form a majority. It last happened in 2013.

The Pope and AGW

I have seen many liberal blogs state the Pope has a science degree. I think that is VASTLY overstating his science background and is basically wrong. I would give the statement a 'mostly false'. Do y'all agree?

Wikipedia says

In the sixth grade, Bergoglio attended Wilfrid Barón de los Santos Ángeles, a school of the Salesians of Don Bosco, in Ramos Mejía, Buenos Aires. He attended the technical secondary school Escuela Técnica Industrial N° 27 Hipólito Yrigoyen,[16] named after a past President of Argentina, and graduated with a chemical technician's diploma.[17][18] He worked for a few years in that capacity in the foods section at Hickethier-Bachmann Laboratory[19] where his boss was Esther Ballestrino. Before joining the Jesuits, Bergoglio worked as a bar bouncer and as a janitor sweeping floors, and he also ran tests in a chemical laboratory.[20][21]

Does this mean he graduated from high school with "a chemical technician's diploma"? After finishing his schooling he "worked as a bar bouncer and as a janitor sweeping floors". I don't think his science background from 40+ years ago qualifies as a "science" degree.

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